Olivet’s Volleyball team took a loss against St. Francis Tuesday night, but scored a victory in their efforts to raise awareness of lymphoma.
On Oct. 25, ONU Volleyball held a Lymphoma Awareness night in honor of junior varsity (JV) volleyball player and cancer survivor sophomore Mason LeMay. The Varsity team played a regular conference match against University of St. Francis while many members of the JV team sold T-shirts, passed around buckets, and held a silent auction to raise money for their teammate and her family’s transportation and medical expenses.
LeMay was diagnosed in September 2015 with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, a rare non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She spent the remainder of the year undergoing treatment. This summer she was declared cancer free and is now back on Olivet’s JV team.
“It still blows my mind how upbeat and positive she was the whole time,” senior Joeclyn LeSage said.
LeSage is LeMay’s roommate and also a member of the JV team. LeSage went on to describe LeMay as hard-working, determined and fun to be around both on and off the court.
“I think it’s so great to see all the support,” LeSage said. “[LeMay and her family] really deserve it.”
While the JV team worked on the fundraiser, ONU’s Varsity Volleyball team was facing a tough opponent in St. Francis University.
The first set of the night was neck and neck until Olivet and St. Francis were tied at 18. At this point, St. Francis began to pull away and took the game 25-20.
Likewise, the second set was close, until Olivet gained the upper hand, winning 29-27.
During the final two sets of the night, St. Francis wore down the Tigers, defeating them 25-18 and 25-14, respectively. It was only the second loss
Olivet had already defeated St. Francis in a match earlier in the season, something that Head Coach Brenda Williams thinks contributed to the loss.
“We didn’t play well. We were hitting the same shots that they saw from us last time,” Williams said. “St. Francis has definitely been playing very well.”
Despite this defeat, Olivet’s volleyball team won a victory for one of their own.
“It means a lot to me,” LeMay said. LeMay remembers how the team came up to visit her during her treatments and showered her with support through texts.
“We were going to bring her back as a student coach if she couldn’t play, but she’s all good to play,” Williams said. “It was nice to see all the girls gather around to support Mason and the sisterhood they’ve formed together.”
This weekend, Olivet will compete in the CCAC Cross Over Tournament at Indiana South Bend and their regular volleyball season will come to a close on Nov. 3 at home vs. Trinity Christian College.
— Brandon Grossi, Sports Editor